Taupo Travel Blog› entry 29 of 40 › view all entries
It's downright chilly here in the central part of the North Island. This afternoon we experienced both snow and ice, although neither stuck to the ground or the roads. Nevertheless, I believe it was the first time any of us had seen snow actually fall in the middle of June!
We weathered the night on Mt. Ruapehu, despite the winds and torrential rains. Unfortunately, because of the weather, we didn't get to see the three mountains (which are active volcanoes) in the sunlight. We took the opportunity to relax, though. (Since we don't have any pictures to share from the area, for those of you who wonder, Mt. Ruapehu and the surrounding Tongariro Crossing is where the Mordor scenes from the LOTR trilogy were filmed.)
Today we took off toward Waitomo, the site of a special species of glow worms that only live in a few caves in that area of New Zealand.
From there we headed southeastward to Taupo. Taupo, which conveniently sits on the shores of Lake Taupo, was the site of what is believed to be the largest volcanic explosion in history. And the area is still active. We arrived rather late in the day, so we will post pictures of the amazing waterfalls and geothermal vents and other features at a later date. For now, though, know we are safe and happy and winding our way up the North Island in anticipation of a Sunday flight to Hawaii, which will be our final stop before returning to Atlanta.
Take care, mates!!